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Full text of "My country and my people"

THE    CHINESE    MIND                       75
who keep the bmga,zin& editors /overwhelmed with their articles. The old imperial examinations which, as I have pointed out, were a kind of intelligence test, long ago sharpened the Chinese scholar's mind in the fine use of words and in subtle literary distinctions, and the cultivation of poetry has trained them In the higher spheres of literary expression, and in taste and finesse. The Chinese art of painting has reached a height yet unreached by the West, and in calligraphy they have forged a way alone and reached what I believe to be the maximun variety and refinement in the conception of rhythmic beauty. fyff C~ / / (j> / ^~~
The Chinese mind therefoije cannot be accused of lacking originality or creativeness. Its inventiveness has been equal to the handicraft stage in which Chinese industries have always remained. Because of the failure to develop a scientific method and because of the peculiar qualities of Chinese thinking, China has been backward in natural science. I have confidence, however, that with the importation of the scientific method, and with adequate research facilities, China will be able to produce great scientists and make important contributions to the scientific world in the next century.
Nor is such native intelligence confined to the educated class. Chinese servants are greatly welcomed on account of their general intelligence and human understanding, and must be put at least on a par with European servants. Chinese merchants have prospered in the Malay States, in the East Indies and in the Philippines chiefly because their intelligence has been greater than that of the natives and because of those virtues that come from intelligence, such as thrift, steady industry and far-sightedness. The respect for scholarship has brought about a general desire for refinement even among the lower middle class, of which the foreigner is seldom aware. Foreign residents in Shanghai sometimes offend the department-store salesmen by talking down to them in "pidgin," not knowing that many of them are particular about a split infinitive. Chinese labourers are easily trained to be skilled mechanics where precision is required. One rarely sees in the slums and factory districts that type of big, husky animal of a similar class in the West, distinguished^^^^by his big jaw,